Saturday, October 20, 2012

A DISAPPOINTING ENGLISH ALE NOT FROM ENGLAND

Let's take a break from discussing beers actually made in England to discuss one that I had a couple of weeks ago that was modeled on the beers of England. I mean, I had this picture sitting around, right? It's from a relatively new brewer from here in the San Francisco Bay Area called DYING VINES, who've made it their raison d'ĂȘtre to make English-style ales. No Belgium, No Germany, No West Coast IPAs for these folks. I like that approach; you don't see much domestically that replicates the UK or German style; I know of English Ales down near Monterey, and then up in Seattle there's a German-style brewer called Baron Brewing whom I've had a drink from in my past. Good luck to them all. I hope it's a business plan that works.

Alas, Dying Vines' English IPA "QUEEN BESS" just doesn't quite pass muster for the staff here at Beer Samizdat. It's very English, to be sure. A little astringent, and about as far from the oily, fruity west coast IPA as can be imagined. Hops are not effectively balanced with the malt, and while it doesn't come on strong in the hop department, it doesn't quite feel like an easy drinker. Either that, or I just don't like English-style IPAs all that much, but I'm sitting in London this very second typing this thing, and just had some pretty whopping English IPAs last night. So there it is. 5.5/10.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Lightning Brewery in Poway (San Diego) focuses on German and English ales and lagers. They do not distribute much beyond San Diego County, but are fairly accessible around here.